“The Masked Singer”: A Skeleton Key Unlocks One More Door Towards the Finale

As we enter into the fourth week of the great Masked Singer competition, the stakes are growing higher as the number of masked celebrities begins to whittle down to the – ahem – bare bones (alright, Henny Youngman I ain’t!).

 Wednesday night’s episode boiled down to just six remaining masked finalists. Listing them all, from top to bottom, and for the edification of the world over, they are as follows: The Black Widow, The Butterfly, The Flamingo, The Thingamajig, The Leopard and The Skeleton. Watching the show last night and still recovering from the warm nirvana I had achieved in viewing HGTV’s feel good home improvement show A Very Brady Renovation (shameless plug), I couldn’t help but think aloud to the ceiling of my house staring back at me that it would be neat-o and quite groovy if all remaining six contestants were to stand revealed as Greg, Peter, Bobby, Marcia, Jan and Cindy from The Brady Bunch. Granted, the audience would probably figure out this particular stunt by the second elimination (or, considering some of the demographic that are rabid about The Masked Singer, I might readjust that number to perhaps the fifth Big Reveal) but at least The Masked Singer would stand revealed for what it really is: A prolonged and psychedelic celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Bunch. And how would you like your meta this morning, ladies and gents?

Alas, there were no signs of my youth on display during the ultimate reveal last night and the bargain basement Angela Lansbury’s affecting their inner-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle- AKA the judges of The Masked Singer – did their best to hide their shock when the Banished One – in this case The Skeleton – lifted their mask to reveal the well-known visage of Paul Shaffer, the Robin to David Letterman’s Batman who, incidentally, is also a hell of a musician. Just sayin.’ Alas, Shaffer’s soul rending version of Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl failed to rouse the bloodthirsty Roman masses…er, I mean the national television audience, and so it was off to the de-boning plant for our beloved Paul.

 McCarthy, Thicke, Jeong and Scherzinger did their level best to guess the true identity of the contestant put up on the chopping block, with Jeong zeroing in on his personal choice of comedian Martin Short (who I somehow always manage to get mixed up with actor Rick Moranis). Thicke and McCarthy actually stunned an entire contingent of mental health professionals with their spot on guess of it being Shaffer behind the Skeletor costume, and I’ll admit that this reviewer’s estimation of the Terrible Twosome (as I affectionately have dubbed them) has slightly risen after last night’s efforts. Bravo, you two!

 The Masked Singer is a ratings sensation that looks to be with us for quite a while, sort of like the dreaded man bun, capris, pseudo-hipsters and Pa Ingalls/Moses-like scraggly beards. And, like these cultural tics that only seem to fester and grow as time goes on, there’s really nothing we can do about it except open another bottle of white wine and raise a glass to some of the best cheese on 2019 primetime television. Mazel Tov!

About Ryan Vandergriff

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